Tender roasted sweet potatoes, savory chickpeas, and plenty of flavorful Middle Eastern spices go into these hearty sweet potato falafel burgers. These burgers pair beautifully with hummus or rich maple tahini sriracha sauce.
This recipe almost turned out to be a huge bummer. When you attempt to create something as crazy as a sweet potato falafel burger, the hopes can get pretty high, as mine did. I'd been thinking about this one for a while too, so they just grew and grew the whole time.
Sometimes that happens, and I put off posting for a while, because I keep thinking it'll be the most awesome recipe of all time, so I need to save it for a special occasion. In this case I saved it for a while...probably since some time around when I started playing around with pumpkin falafel.
If pumpkin works, I had to think sweet potatoes would too. I decided to make my sweet potato falafel in burger form, just to shake things up even more. Anyhow, I realized that winter is drawing to a close, so it was high time I started jamming in all the sweet potato goodness I could, before everyone becomes more interested in stuff like zucchini noodles.
Getting back to the whole bummer thing, I made the burger mixture up and it tasted great. I oiled up my skillet, threw in a couple of patties, and they totally stuck. They came out all misshapen and busted looking. Ugh. Of course, my husband and I ate them anyway, because we don't waste food because it's ugly.
See, sweet potato is tricky when using it for a veggie burger! It's delicious, but super soft. Sweet potato falafel burgers don't stand up to cooking nearly as well as my standard falafel burgers, or other types of veggie burgers like my favorite black bean burgers.
But these burgers, while a total mess, were delicious. While we're enjoying our beat up burgers (grumpily in my case), the remaining burger mixture sits in the fridge. After dinner I pop it out to cook up two more burgers, figuring we'd eat them for lunch the next day, hideous or not. Guess what happened? They didn't stick to the skillet! JOY.
So the moral of this story is that refrigeration is the key, unless you want a floppy old mess of a burger (and be my guest if you do). Also, don't write off your mistakes as failures. Maybe you'll learn from them. Or maybe they're unfinished successes. That's it for life lessons with me today. Oh, and eat these burgers. That too.
What to Serve with Sweet Potato Falafel Burgers
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Sweet Potato Falafel Burgers
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 small onion quartered
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ½ cup panko
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. olive oil divided
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 400º. Scrub sweet potato and puncture several times with a knife. Bake until easily pierced with a knife, about 35 minutes. You want it to be slightly firmer than if you were going to eat it like a baked potato. Remove from oven, cut open and allow to cool.
Scoop sweet potato insides into food processor bowl and add onion, garlic, chickpeas, panko, chickpea flour, cilantro, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Pulse until chickpeas are well chopped and ingredients are incorporated, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Test a bit of the mixture by pressing it together with your hands. If it doesn't quite hold together, transfer mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Shape the sweet potato mixture into 4 patties.
Coat a large skillet with remaining oil and place over medium heat. Working in batches if needed, place patties into skillet and cook until browned on bottoms, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on opposite sides, about 5 minutes more.
Stuff into buns and top with your favorite burger/falafel toppings. I recommend some hummus or tahini dressing.